Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Stuffed Pepper Soup

1/2 lb. Bob Evans Zesty Sausage. Cooked and drained
1/2 lb. Hamburger. Cooked and drained
2 c. green pepper, cut into 1" squares
2 tbsp. beef base or 2 bouillon cubes
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 c. cooked and cooled white rice
1 can tomato sauce-28oz can
1 can diced tomatoes-28 oz can (undrained)
2 tbsp black pepper

Brown meat and drain. Add remaining ingredients except rice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes r until onions and peppers are tender. Add rice and heat thoroughly.

To make this extra soupy, add 1 can of tomato soup and 3/4 of the can with water.  

Goes great with a grilled cheese sandwiches on a cold rainy day! Enjoy!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pea + Peanut Salad

This is one of those "you have to try it before you decide" recipes. It sounds weird; I was skeptical at first as well. But once I tried it, I was sold. It's sweet and crunchy, savory and creamy, all at the same time.

Pea & Peanut Salad

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 lb frozen peas, thawed
1 lb Spanish or cocktail peanuts

In a bowl, combine everything except the peas and peanuts. Mix well. Gently stir in the peas and peanuts, ensuring everything is coated well. Chill at least one hour before serving.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars - a nice, different side dish. I served it with smoked sausage and noodles. As a bonus, my two-year old scarfed it down!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Iced Coffee

You know how some things just taste better when they are not homemade? That's how I've long felt about iced coffee. It just tasted better when I bought it vs. made it at home. I tried brewing super-strong coffee, buying instant coffee, using my Keurig, using a French press, etc.

But that was before I learned about cold-brewing coffee. The secret is so simple - letting the coffee grounds brew in cold water overnight. That's it. That is the secret to iced coffee at home. You and your fat wallet can thank me later.

Iced Coffee Concentrate

10 oz coarse ground coffee
4 L water

Dump the coffee grounds into a large container (I used a Pampered Chef pitcher.) Add water. Put in fridge overnight (at least 8 hours).

The next morning, give yourself an hour. Pour the coffee water through a fine mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter or cheesecloth.  Stir with a spoon to help it through. I cleaned the kitchen and did some other chores as the coffee slowly made its way into the new pitcher. I went through about 4 or 5 coffee filters along the way as they clogged up.

But it was worth it. I now have 4 L of iced coffee concentrate that will keep in the fridge for up to a month. I used it to make a Vietnamese iced coffee this afternoon, which is just iced coffee concentrate, ice cubes, and a few tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk. YUM

Rating: 5 out of 5. Perfectly tasty.

Monday, July 11, 2011


While reading my daily blogs (Oh the shame!), I stumbled across this link while reading No Big Dill (see Katie's tutorial on page 26). This online magazine has good recipes, cute decorating ideas and a whole page on homemade Popsicles.
Yes, a whole page! Yum!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Reese Cup Brownie Bites

Reese Cup Brownie Bites


1 box of Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix (plus ingredients as the box indicates)
36 Mini Reese Cups
Mini muffin tin liners

Mix the brownie mix as instructed on the box. I prefer to only use one egg for a fudgier brownie. Place liners into cupcake pan. Place approximately 1/2 tsp onto the bottom of each liner. This will prevent the Reese cup from getting hard on the bottom. Center Reese cups into the liners on top of the brownie mix.
Cover the Reese cup with approximately 1 tbsp of brownie batter. I use the small scoop from Pampered Chef for easy measuring. Make sure all sides of the Reese cup are covered with brownie batter to prevent the Reese cup from burning.

 Bake at 350 for 11-13 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes
before removing from cupcake pan.

 I chose to give mine a little flare and frost with Peanut Butter Fluff. I used the Pampered Chef Easy Decorator to make little puffs on top.

Enjoy! Happy 4th of July!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fruit Pizza

Fruit Pizza

My friend Jessica made this today. It's beautiful!
She was kind enough to share the recipe! Thanks, Jessica!
1 (18 ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed (Jessica substituted Marshmallow Fluff)
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon orange zest

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slice cookie dough and arrange on greased pizza pan, overlapping edges. Press dough flat into pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, soften cream cheese, then fold in the marshmallow fluff. Spread over cooled crust. You can chill for a while at this point, or continue by arranging the fruit.
  3. Begin with strawberries, sliced in half. Arrange in a circle around the outside edge. Continue with fruit of your choice, working towards the middle. If bananas are used, dip them in lemon juice so they don't darken. Then make a sauce to spoon over fruit.
  4. In a saucepan, combine sugar, salt, corn starch, orange juice, lemon juice and water. Cook and stir over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat, and add grated orange rind. Allow to cool, but not set up. Spoon over fruit. Chill for two hours, then cut into wedges and serve.               
I cannot wait to make this! Maybe I will go blueberry/strawberry picking this weekend! Thanks for sharing, Jessica!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Turkey-Avacado Clubs

This recipe is so tasty and very easy!
Courtesy of The Food Network


  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 8 slices turkey bacon
  • 1 Hass avocado, halved and pitted
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 slices whole-grain bread, lightly toasted
  • 8 small leaves romaine lettuce
  • 1 tomato, cut into 8 slices
  • 12 ounces sliced low-sodium deli turkey breast
  • 1/2 small English cucumber, sliced


Toss the onion with the vinegar and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Let stand 15 minutes, then drain. Meanwhile, cook the turkey bacon as the label directs until crisp.

Mash the avocado with the yogurt in another small bowl until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Lay 4 slices of bread on a cutting board and spread with half of the avocado-yogurt mixture. Top with the lettuce and tomato and season with salt and pepper. Add a layer of turkey breast, bacon, cucumber and red onion. Spread the remaining avocado mixture on the remaining 4 bread slices and place spread-side down on top of the sandwiches. Cut each sandwich in half to serve.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Yummy Buffalo Chicken Chili Mac

This yummy recipe is courtesy of my dear friend Meghan. She has 2 kids and a husband (see family pic below!) that love this recipe! Thanks for sharing Meghan!

Meghan, Mia, Maddie and Matt

Buffalo Chicken Chili Mac

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 pounds (about 4 to 6, depending on size) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bits
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 to 1/2 cup hot sauce, depending on how hot you like it
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 pound whole wheat elbow macaroni
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 scallions, root ends removed and thinly sliced

To make cutting the chicken easier, place it into the freezer for about 15 minutes until it firms up slightly but isn’t frozen through. This will let you cut it up quickly into small pieces.

Preheat broiler and place a large pot of salted water over high heat to bring up to a boil for the whole wheat elbow macaroni.

Place a large pot over medium-high heat and add 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the chicken bits and brown them, about 5-6 minutes. Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, paprika, bay leaf and some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook the veggies, stirring frequently, until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the hot sauce and crushed tomatoes, and bring up to a bubble.

Simmer the chili for 8-10 minutes to let the flavors come together and thicken it slightly.
While the chili is simmering, toss the pasta into the boiling salted water and cook until al dente according to package directions. Once cooked, drain the pasta and toss it into the chili, then transfer everything to a casserole dish. Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the top and place it under the broiler until the cheeses have melted and the top is golden brown, 2-3 minutes.
Sprinkle the chopped scallions over the top and watch this one disappear in no time.

Sounds Delish! Can't wait for you to make this for me when I come visit! (wink! wink!)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

BLT Dip-Yum!


1 c. Sour Cream
1 c. Hellman's (or any REAL mayo)
4 Roma Tomatoes, Diced
1 lb. bacon-cooked and crumbled

Combine ingredients in a medium bowl. Chill for 2 hours. Serve on sliced french bread. Delish!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Yummy Potato Casserole

Potato Casserole

1 package (30oz) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I used 1 cup cheddar and 1 cup of hot pepper cheese)
1/4 c. chopped onion
2 c. sour cream
1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/2 c. butter, melted and divided
2 c. French's Fried Onions
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a large bowl, combine the hash browns, cheese, onion, green peppers, salt and pepper. In another bowl, combine sour cream, soup and 1/4 of the melted butter. Pour over potato mixture and mix gently. Pour into a greased 3 qt. baking dish. Toss French's Fried Onions in the remaining melted butter and sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes.

This is great for potlucks, dinner parties and holidays.

Yummy Factor: 5 stars!